There is no telling what they were thinking. Did they actually believe this would be a good idea in any possible way? Recently some tourists to the Yellowstone National Park came upon a bison calf and decided to load it into their car because they were “concerned for its welfare.” These visitors brought the calf back to a park facility which could have been dangerous had the mother decided to attack and protect it. All their actions did was: 1) violate park rules to stay 25 yards away from the wildlife, and 2) place a permanent separation between this calf and the herd. Park Rangers brought the calf back to the herd but the herd would not accept the calf back after several tries. To make matters worse, the abandoned calf kept going back to people and cars and was causing dangerous situations on the roads. In the end, the park officials had to put the calf down all because some tourists ultimately couldn’t follow the rules (MSN).
In most situations people have good intentions. Obviously, the tourists didn’t want harm to come to the calf, but they let their feelings cloud good judgment. The same is often true with spiritual things. We at times let our feelings cloud our judgment when it comes to making good decisions. For example, 1 Corinthians 15:33 clearly states, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” Yet time and time again we allow negative influences to poison our moral compasses. There is no doubt it’s hard. “These are my friends,” we tell ourselves. “I’m trying to be a good influence on them,” we will reason. In the end, if our relationship with someone is pulling us away from the Lord more than we are pulling him or her towards the Lord, we are doing exactly what the verse warns against and are “being deceived.”
Psalm 1:1 offers insight into how this self-deception slowly happens. We may begin with a passive “walking in the counsel of the wicked.” We are kind of just passing by, observing, and taking things in. There isn’t full participating, but we are there. Then we get to the point to where we “stand in the path of sinners.” Now we’ve stopped and there is a more involved role taking place. Finally, we reach a point to where we too are “sitting in the seat of scoffers.” We are rooted down and actively involved. How easy it is to go from walking to standing to sitting when it is with people we feel like are our “friends” or people that we “trust.”
There are good reasons Yellowstone park officials have said to stay 25 yards away from wildlife. It has and will continue to cause problems. The same is true with the people we hang around. God has issued this warning for good reasons. Failure to follow this warning has and will continue to end up in spiritual problems. Again, let’s not allow ourselves to be deceived. Let’s keep the proper distance from “bad company.”